Hundreds of left-wing haters blowing horns and waving Israeli and “pride” flags gathered Tuesday night outside the “Rosh Yehudi” yeshiva headed by Israel Zaira to protest the presence of senior Religious Zionist Rabbi Igal Levenstein.
The incident reflects just how much anti-government hate has ballooned in Tel Aviv to include venomous rage against observant Jews as well.
הגעתי אמש לראש יהודי בתל אביב, לחזק את ידידי ישראל זעירא. ישראל ויתר על חיים נוחים ובית פרטי ביישוב שהוא סביבתו הטבעית, ובא לגור בתל אביב רק כדי להרבות אהבה ולחזק את הזהות היהודית. זה לא מפריע לכל מי שרוממות הליברליזם בגרונם לתקוף אותו.
מטרתי אתמול בתל אביב כמו בכל הפעילות שלי… https://t.co/QFG2Sdqe81
— הרב יגאל לוינשטיין (@HaravIgalLevins) September 20, 2023
The yeshiva where Levenstein was speaking reaches out to secular Jews interested in exploring and returning to their roots.
An Orthodox rabbi who heads the Bnei David pre-military yeshiva program in the Jewish community of Eli, Levenstein has had the temerity to express his distaste and opposition to homosexuality.
As he left the venue following his address, the anarchist mob chased and surrounded Levenstein and a second individual, swinging sticks and fists.
Israeli police officers were forced to extract Levenstein and Aviad Nachshoni, another senior figure in the Religious Zionist movement.
Israeli journalist Yinon Magal shared footage of the disgraceful incident on social media.
“Dozens of protesters tried to attack us physically, with sticks and with their hands. If the police hadn’t shielded the rabbi with their bodies, it would have ended badly,” Nachshoni told Magal.
According to Israel’s N12 news outlet, the attackers shouted, “You are nothing. You have no God! You are scum. You are not Jewish. Get out of here! Go away fascist. Go back to the settlements – you don’t belong here!”
Levenstein later wrote in a tweet that he had come to Tel Aviv to support his friend, Israel Zaira, who “gave up a comfortable life and a private home in a community that is his natural environment, and came to live in Tel Aviv, only to increase love and strengthen Jewish identity.
“This did not prevent anyone who raises their voices with liberalism from attacking him,” Levenstein went on.
“My goal yesterday in Tel Aviv, as in all my activities, was to continue to explain the processes so that all the people of Israel would understand how good people can fall for progressive incitement and become so aggressive in the name of peace.
“This is the way I will continue, and do, God willing,” he added.
Zaira thanked “God and the police,” who he said, “protected us and saved us from a pogrom.” Speaking to N12, he added, “We were surprised by the intensity of their hatred, their blunt words, and the violent behavior of a mob that shouldn’t act like this. A group of intelligent and serious people who behave like savages.
“We understand they came to scare us over the mass prayer we will hold at Dizengoff Square on Yom Kippur.”
The attack was roundly condemned by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who heads the Religious Zionism party, Religious Zionism MK Simcha Rothman, Likud MK Tali Gotlieb and Noam MK Avi Maoz.
Three Opposition lawmakers — National Unity MK Ze’ev Elkin, Blue & White chairman MK Benny Gantz and MK Matan Kahana — also condemned the incident.